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mec

[TR] Quartz Mountain - Training Day 07/14/2018

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Trip: Quartz Mountain - Training Day

Trip Date: 07/14/2018

Trip Report:

 

 

 

Looking for a long route somewhat close to Seattle, we ran across Training Day in the new Snoqualmie Rock guide by Kurt Hicks. We had never heard of it before, and it sounded like it was just what we were looking for. 13 pitches, with about an hour long approach, and a short drive from Seattle.

Ornulf and I met up in Issaquah at 5:45, and after a quick drive started hiking at 6:30. After a half hour on the CCC Trail, we turned left and started up hill. There was no trail, but we kept heading upward. The forest was relatively open, with minimal bushwhacking. The last few hundred yards to the base had some bushwhacking, but nothing too obnoxious. 

The start of the climb was not fully obvious, but it looked like one could take any of a few different paths on the first pitch. we went up the left side of the base, and went just right of a roof. 

The first few pitches were straight forward, and not too difficult. Then at pitch 4, the difficulty started to increase. As the difficulty increased the number of bolts increased. Any move that was somewhat difficult generally had a bolt right next to it. Some would argue there were too many bolts, and we did not end up clipping all of them, but for those less experienced with slab they will be much appreciated. Pitch 7 was the crux pitch, and was a continuous 5.10a slab, and heavily bolted. This pitch had the 22 bolts. Only downside to this pitch, was that it ended with about 15 feet of pulling on cedar trees to get to the anchor. Pitch 9 was the second crux, with some high steps to get through a couple of small roofs. 

After pitch 9, the climbing quality decreases as the climb starts to traverse up and left towards the notch. the rock is covered a bit more in moss/lichen and there are more trees to grab/climb through. though getting to the notch is pretty cool, and you get some great views. Plus, after the 13th pitch, the rap line is essentially straight down, and straight forward, with clean rope pulling. only challenge is the ~200m of bushwhacking back to the start. 

Route finding throughout the climb was straight forward with a few spots where you look around, but then it becomes pretty clear. The descriptions in the guidebook are spot on, though the ratings might be high (but I have mostly been climbing at index), plus some of the lengths in the guidebook seemed to be a bit short. We used 2 60m half ropes, and they were perfect. . There was some run outs on the easier ground but we never felt that we needed more gear/bolts. the guidebook also called for a double rack up to #3. Overall we only placed 6 or 7 pieces throughout the full climb. So, bring a light rack up to #2 (we placed the #3, but you could have placed the #2 if needed). 

Overall it was a fun day out. I definitely recommend the route to others looking for a long climb off the beaten path. IMG_2495.thumb.jpg.355cea836e64ba95404f8a9442cce129.jpg

looking up at the start of P1. we went up here and right of the roof. 

IMG_2465.thumb.jpg.66fa5105a4a94477bf03bfa35ed6cac6.jpg

top of p1, looking up.

IMG_2467.thumb.jpg.05cac55c0ecb5449f50cd77b56fcfbdb.jpg

looking down p3

IMG_2472.thumb.jpg.6f67db9aa220480d47c316d8cd7b223b.jpg

 looking up p6, which goes up and left.

IMG_2473.thumb.jpg.d582f3d23ada4098b5b194f476ac5bd8.jpg

looking up p8

IMG_2479.thumb.jpg.1da27409d9bb789602158a6cc34893f1.jpg

Ornulf getting ready to pull on the cedars at the top of p7.

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looking across p13 towards the notch and the great view. p13 is a short traverse that lines you up for the plumb rap line 

IMG_2488.thumb.jpg.cfcefc25e3dbc4f757d81fbe20fb8a2b.jpg

looking up towards the notch, 2 raps down.

Gear Notes:
22 draws, and a light rack up to #3

Approach Notes:
The new Snoqualmie Rock description is pretty solid. There is no trail up to the base. After you start up the hill off the CCC Trail, just keep going up and join the drainage and go up until the rock is there on your left, and bushwhack a short way to the base

Edited by mec
fixing date
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Thanks for posting Michael. 

 

Yes, I agree, was a fun great climb. I think I would add a couple of small things. 

 

1. The guidebook mentioned that you should be ready for some runouts. And yes, there were some, but to us, it felt that it was on easy terrain. I am a 5.9 climber and did not feel bad running out on pitch 2 and 4. And other places. But aside from easy pitch 2, it would allow for some gear, even if sparse. 

2. Yes, a single rack is more than enough. I think this is what we were talking about the most when we topped out.  

If route setter reads this, I am very curious about the old bolts on the route. (like 20+ years old).  Are they taking up a different path? Do you know anything about the old bolts?  

 

Super fun day for a climb of the beaten path when you are tired of the crag. :-)

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Cool Darrington-ish looking route!  Is that near Garfield and the famous route that should not be named?  

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yep, it is probably a couple miles West North West from Garfield as a crow flies... the parking is at a pullout on the main Middle Fork road about 9.5 miles from the turn-off, a bit before the campground and the turn-off towards Garfield.

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This is 5 miles past the new trail head for Mailbox. Parking on the side and about an 1.5 hour walk up to the SW side of Quartz Mountain.

 

 

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We climbed this (to top of pitch 8) a few weeks ago.  

Our leader backed off on pitch 6 because he thought we would not make it to top with a 60m rope. We ended up breaking into two pitches by belaying at a single bolt.  Did you guys have to simul pitch 6 at all, or does it make it with 60's?

The bush dive on pitch 7 is totally ridiculous.  Seems like putting those two traverse bolts above the bush dive out on the face instead would have made that pitch a classic instead of leaving one with a bad taste in the mouth (and pine needles in the underwear).  But what do I know?

We climbed p1-8 with just draws and a #4 Camalot (placed multiple times)!  That is all the rack you need :)

 

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Just did this yesterday—yes, pitch 6 goes with a 60 m rope.  If you didn't like the brush on pitch 7, good thing you didn't climb to the top of the route! 

We also placed very few pieces—a red tricam, a couple of TCUs, and a #3 Camalot.  Maybe the "double rack to 3 inches" was a cut and paste error from the Revelation Peak route description.

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It's a good NW sampler route -- some clean slab, some not-so-clean slab, a couple of pitches of dirt weaseling through brush and pine needles and lichen, a wet traverse (easily aided),  a start that's completely obvious when you can see but hard to find when it's totally socked in and misty -- all the good stuff.  Certainly no routefinding difficulties, the most likely thing is you'll accidentally skip a bolt through just overlooking it.

It was a good day to do it, as the morning fog didn't burn off until we were halfway up the route.  It would be *hot* up there on a super sunny warm day. 

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Glad folks are getting on this. A few notes: 

Yes, there is an error in the rack description. A single set to 2-3" is sufficient for most leaders.

The old bolt down low on the route was deliberately placed by the FA team as a bit of a joke. 

The pitch 7 corner-to-tree pitch didn't exit right onto the slab since that slab is an exfoliating piece. There is talk of trimming the branches and perhaps adding a short fixed rope instead. 

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Kurt, thanks for your work on the guidebook!  It's a nice addition to the library.  And thanks for the note about the old bolt; I was wondering about that.

For what my opinion is worth (i.e., not much) I can pull on tree branches as well as I can on a rope, and they're natural to the environment and don't decay in the elements.

Does that route actually get guided?  Just curious.

 

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I don't know if anyone has guided it yet, but only a couple businesses hold permits in the Middle Fork. I don't mind the tree pulling either, but it certainly does detract from the route IMO.

The route is a scorcher too -- definitely one to best do on a cloudy day or super early in the morning.

Thanks for the kind words; glad you're enjoying the book! 

 

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I'm not sure I agree about tree pulling being a good long term solution. I was nearing the end of a pitch mid-way up a climb next to Springbok Arete (SCE) where the beta was "grab the branch". I did and it snapped, sending me on a 25 footer. I had to climb up and lead past that section sans branch.  

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ouch, that must have been an unpleasant surprise; glad you were unhurt.

Though to be fair, you also need to test rock in the alpine to be sure it's going to stay attached once you pull on it.....I certainly found some yesterday that was less than solid.

 

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46 minutes ago, tanstaafl said:

ouch, that must have been an unpleasant surprise; glad you were unhurt.

Though to be fair, you also need to test rock in the alpine to be sure it's going to stay attached once you pull on it.....I certainly found some yesterday that was less than solid.

 

Yes, fortunately unhurt. 

I did test it by pulling on it! ;)  Agree about testing rock. Kurt and I did plenty of that on Revelation across the way!

 

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sorry to look a gift horse in the mouth but i thought the route was a weasel pile generally not worth the bolts. i clipped the majority of them though so am guilty as will soon be charged. good views of the middle fork valley and interesting topography. one can only hope that the route was originally climbed to suss out the far better & cleaner potential adjacent to the rap line.

nice job on the guidebook, kurt. sort of looking forward to climbing your & rad's route on revelation.

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28 minutes ago, rat said:

nice job on the guidebook, kurt. sort of looking forward to climbing your & rad's route on revelation.

You'll find it pretty casual compared to many of your epic routes, maybe even type 1 fun. 

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I will say that one of the most diverting parts of the day, aside from the pleasure of actually being able to climb a multipitch route for the first time since 2017, was listening to Rat periodically scream "WEASEL!" whilst on route, not to mention on the descent and while driving home.

Rad, I'm assuming the "double rack to 3 inches plus a #4" for Revelation is correct?  While I appreciated the extra training in my Training Day by carrying that rack up and down the route, I don't need to repeat the experience.  ;)

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On 5/14/2019 at 8:19 AM, tanstaafl said:

I will say that one of the most diverting parts of the day, aside from the pleasure of actually being able to climb a multipitch route for the first time since 2017, was listening to Rat periodically scream "WEASEL!" whilst on route, not to mention on the descent and while driving home.

Rad, I'm assuming the "double rack to 3 inches plus a #4" for Revelation is correct?  While I appreciated the extra training in my Training Day by carrying that rack up and down the route, I don't need to repeat the experience.  ;)

Sounds like good times. 

Looks like I didn't put gear notes in my cc.com TR. Kurt has the rack info in his guide. I trust his memory more than mine :)  

You won't be clipping bolts because there aren't any. The first 2-3 pitches have some nice cracks. The next several pitches you're climbing slabs and looking for any solid gear you can find. The upper section is more like a Fred Beckey alpine approach with a mix of gear and slung shrubbery.  Leave qdraws at home and bring some slings. One thing I'd do differently is bring a few tricams as they work better than cams in shallow placements in the middle slabs. Also bring your experience. With no trail of bolts to follow you'll have to go where experience tells you is best. We started on the lower right side of the main slab, went diagonally up left across it to some overlaps with good cracks, straight up from there, and then up and right to exit to the upper section. Oh, and bring gloves for the approach and descent.

The opening cracks are clean and fun, the slab is not scary, the rock is pretty darn clean from top to bottom given the mountain setting, and the views and ambience are very nice.

I think you'll have fun. Let us know how it goes!

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